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Indiegogo – ASAP Connect

This new device, called ASAP Connect, enables iPhone and Android device users to plug and unplug their devices easily using magnetic USB connectors that are available in four colours ; Silver, Gold, Rosegold and Gunmetal.

I’ve pre-purchased one for my mp3 player and one for my phone. And I thought you guys might be interested in learning about the technology.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child now available + Save an Extra 15% Off with Visa Checkout

Update to “Scammers On The Prowl”

In June 2011 I had posted a somewhat off-topic warning about a security issue I had been encountering for months.

I had been receiving unsolicited calls from individuals with thick Indian accents claiming to be “Software Maintenance Department of Online PC Care” asking me to give them access to my computer because of some alleged virus infection.

This was of course a common con by that time, which also involved individuals claiming to represent Microsoft calling random numbers in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Basically they gained access, altered settings without the user’s knowledge and then proceeded to extort $49 to $450 from the user to “repair” the damage they had caused.

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States have taken legal actions against these fraudsters yesterday, freezing their assets and demanding a halt to this activity.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission have also penalized the companies involved in this tech support scam in respect to Canada’s no call list legislation.

If you have received a call of this nature, please file a complaint with the CRTC via this form.

Scammers On The Prowl

Warning – If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the “Software Maintenance Department of Online PC Care“, do not give them any information and do not give them access to your computer.

I’ve been receiving calls from these India based scam artists and identity thieves for a while now. And the routine is generally the same.

They call you at random from an VOIP site based in the states and with an Indian accent claim to be calling people in your city in regards to software that is alledgely downloading material without your knowledge or consent.

They ask you for five minutes of your time and ask to gain access to your computer remotely to correct the alledged issue. Then they proceed to install malicious software on your machine, in essence creating the issue they claim to be correcting whilst gaining access to sensitive financial and/or personal information on your hard drive.

Basically they peddle anti-virus software that they first ask you to install and then later demand renewal fees for, which is usually upwards of $150. And they can claim you consented to all of this nonsense because they’ve recorded you, if they happen to have charged your credit card using information they got from your hard drive.

An online version of this scareware scam can also be found at certain sites, that install software through your internet browser. But of course there are plenty of more reasonably priced anti-virus programs out there, some of which i’ve listed under “Consumer Security” on my Consumer Links page.

Not only do these programs address the issue alledged by the con artists but Microsoft itself issues patches against these problems via their web site. And no, Microsoft does not call people over these issues.

They will of course alter their pitch at will in their attempts to gain access to your computer. But in the end the results are the same if you allow these people access ; An infected computer and a large credit card bill, at least.

Meanwile, you can address any concern in regards to any infection by using Microsoft Safety Scanner, which costs nothing and does not conflict with your existing anti-virus software.

Gouging Canadians – Mobile Data Roaming

So the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has confirmed what every Canadian cell phone and mobile data user has suspected for years, and more so. Canadians are being gouged when it comes to mobile data roaming charges.

According to their May 30th study, Canadians that download and upload whilst roaming are charged some of the highest fees in the world, at up to US$24.61 per 1 MB transfer on a laptop.

These rates are of course prohibitive when it comes to the viewing and uploading of digital photographs and videos. But the use of cloud services whilst roaming are also subject to these enormous fees, as are music downloads.

I personally believe that though somewhat inconvenient at times, WI-FI is the preferable option for any traveler that wishes to transfer files to and from their devices.

Free WI-FI is available in many hotels, motels, campgrounds, airports and chains like Starbucks and McDonalds though-out Canada and the United States. And some hotels also offer faster wired connections, in select rooms of course.

Personally i’ve saved quite alot of money using Skype in hotel rooms and campgrounds in the past, using these free connections. And there is an option to limit transfers to wi-fi on the new iCloud service, so there are ways to avoid these fees altogether.